Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Jonathan leaving for TZ and KE on June 7 + ECLEA updates

 JMM and Maasai leader Boniface Kugotha
Boniface Kugotha, whose picture is above, is the Maasai leader I met at the Biblical Stewardship TOT in Nairobi whom I mentioned in my first report from Kenya. I thought you might like to see him.

Upcoming trip to TZ and the coast of KE
The time has been blasting by, and I have been very busy, since I returned from Kenya on May 5. I leave again on June 7, less than 1 1/2 weeks away. I will be spending 2 1/2 weeks in Tanzania and will finish in the Mombasa area of Kenya. While in TZ, in addition to our teaching, I will be having two meetings with important bishops from different churches and places in TZ. These meetings could prove to be very important in opening many doors to working with different churches in TZ. Please pray for this. I am scheduled to get back to Appleton on the afternoon of July 4, after a short visit with our son David in Arizona.

ECLEA websiteThe ECLEA website (www.eclea.net) is now up and running, although it is still under construction. New material in the process of being added. In that regard, I have revised most of my teaching books and given them the new ECLEA logo. They will be uploaded to the website soon. Check it out.

My blog: updatesThis blog is located at: http://jonathanandnancymenn.blogspot.com/. There is a link you can click under my name and picture on the ECLEA website to access it, or you can bookmark it. I always post reports of my teaching trips to East Africa on the blog along with pictures.

ECLEA's future is looking good
I am very excited for the future of ECLEA. While I was here I met with the head of Converge Great Lakes Short Term Ministry Initiative. I think (and hope) that this will pave the way to a great expansion of ECLEA's outreach and impact. Please pray about that as well.

I want to thank you all again for your prayers and financial support, without which we could not be doing what we are doing. As always, I will endeavor to send you a report from the field. God bless you, Jonathan

Report from Kenya: Part 2

 George Kariuki teaching at Murang'a
 Small group discussion at Murang'a
 Embu TOT group

Here is a report concerning the rest of my April-May time in Kenya.

Misikhu, KE: Biblical Interpretation TOT
The TOT on Biblical Interpretation was the first time we had done that particular course. It was hosted by Bishop Justus Wafula. I recently received an email from Justus in which he commented concerning that course, "Jonathan I really appreciate the new lesson you did with us. Biblical Interpretation was new to us but I really understood it better. May God touch you all who may sponsored the conference. Some of us from local areas have been problem to get skill we are getting. You are real changing the life of many people.May God bless you."

Malaba, KE: Biblical Theology TOT
We traveled to the the far western town of Malaba, on the border with Uganda, where we were hosted by Isabellah Inyele, parish priest and special assistant to Bishop Zakayo Epusi of the Anglican church of Kenya (ACK). There we did a TOT on Biblical Theology for a group of Anglicans and Pentecostals. The group of 14 participants interacted well and, I think, began to see how the Bible fits together in a new light.

 Murang'a, KE: 1 Timothy Conference
We then returned to central Kenya where we taught through the book of 1 Timothy for approximately 66 pastors and other church leaders. George Kariuki, Bob Mwangi, and Thomas Mwai Ng'ang'a all taught with me. I always make sure to have at least one and, hopefully, more than one good African teachers for all pastors conferences. These gentlemen are excellent teachers and themselves have been leading all-African pastors conferences and TOTs for some time now.

Embu, KE: Biblical Theology TOT
We concluded this trip in the eastern region town of Embu with another Biblical Theology TOT for approximately 28 participants. Most of our courses are geared toward the TOT format in which I try to stimulate as much discussion and Q&A as possible. In this case we had huge discussions regarding the true nature of the Gospel, "words versus deeds," the "prosperity gospel," the nature and place of miracles, and other issues.

This was a productive trip.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Report from Kenya

 Biblical Stewardship TOT in Nairobi, KE
Biblical Interpretation TOT in Misikhu, KE

 Bishop Zakayo Epusi addressing Biblical Theology TOT in Malaba, KE
I returned from Kenya on May 5. Here is the report I sent "from the field":

It is the rainy season here in Kenya. But so far, while it has rained heavily every night, the days have been pretty good. Here is what has been happening so far:

Nairobi: Biblical Stewardship TOTWe had an enlightening and very good TOT on biblical stewardship in Nairobi with about 24 participants. Among the participants were 6 very enthusiastic Masaai pastors, one wearing traditional Masaai dress, whom I had not met before. They were there because some of the good African teachers I had worked with had done an all-African conference in Masaai-land and had invited them to this TOT. Everyone, I think, saw in a quite powerful way how Christianity not only is designed to change us from the inside-out but also is designed to give us a holistic approach to life. In other words, when we have Christ, our values and outlook on everything changes: Christ affects our relationships with people, what we do with our money, our bodies, our environment, etc. In prior conferences, I had stressed how Christianity applies and relates to all of these areas. In this one, it came home more to me how these are all just aspects of a fundamental inner and holistic change.

Murang'a: Biblical Theology TOTI took the matatu to Murang'a in central Kenya. The biblical theology TOT for about 40 participants was eye-opening and challenging. The first day we spent much of the time talking about the relationship of God and evil, and going over the overall biblical storyline. After that, the course was largely devoted to showing how Christ and the church fulfill all of the Old Testament "types" and "shadows," such as the temple, the covenants, the festivals, the sacrificial system, etc. Many pastors here do not have a good understanding about these fundamental matters. We had lots of good questions and discussion. Also, I was amazed at the practical and pastoral implications of these things. I think and hope that this will prove to be very helpful to these good pastors and, through them, to their people.

Misikhu: Biblical Interpretation TOTI am now in Misikhu, western Kenya, in the middle of a biblical interpretation TOT for about 20 participants. This is the first time I have done this particular course. It is generating lots of good discussion on a host of issues. Biblical interpretation, of course, has integral and important implications for application and for such subjects as biblical theology and eschatology. We have had lots of questions and gotten into good discussions on all of those areas. Change is coming, slowly by slowly, to the pastors and churches.

Thank you for your continued prayer and support. God bless you, Jonathan